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Encyclopedia Dubuque


"Encyclopedia Dubuque is the online authority for all things Dubuque, written by the people who know the city best.”
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Affiliated with the Local History Network of the State Historical Society of Iowa, and the Iowa Museum Association.


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SPENCER, John. (York, England, Dec. 26, 1856--Unknown). Spencer moved to Dubuque in the late 1880s and became a junior member of the firm of W. W. Boynton and Company that designed many local buildings including the BANK AND INSURANCE BUILDING. (1)

After two years in Chicago, Spencer returned to Dubuque and has been credited with the design of the GERMAN TRUST AND SAVINGS BANK, CARNEGIE-STOUT PUBLIC LIBRARY, the Riverfront Pavilion at EAGLE POINT PARK, and many private residences. (2) In 1902 it took nine ballots of the state commission chosen to select the architect for the Iowa Building at the World's Fair before Spencer was eliminated from the final two. (3)




1. Goodspeed, Weston Arthur, History of Dubuque County, Iowa. Chicago: Goodspeed Historical Association, 1911, p. 688

2. "Spencer Loses Out," Dubuque Telegraph-Herald, December 20, 1902, p. 5